Carnival in The Crescent City

We spent Wednesday night through Monday in New Orleans for the first weekend of Carnival season in New Orleans. Everyone was gearing up for Mardi Gras and the town was full of energy, just without the massive crowds that will no doubt be flocking to the city over the next couple days.

Thursday, we checked out the horse races, the French Quarter, a stroll down Bourbon St and had a famous Moss Family fish fry (nom nom nom).  It was our first time to the horse races and didn’t do too bad on our betting. We were down $5 on $30, so $5 spent for a couple hours of entertainment was surely worth it.

Friday, we went back down to the Quarter for coffee and beignets at the famous Cafe du Monde, took a stroll around Jackson Square and bought some artwork from the street vendors. Had a Muffuletta and Pimms Cup at The Napoleon House. Grubbed on some Popeyes after watching the evening Uptown parade before catching a show at Tipitina’s Uptown.  The band we went to see was “Yo Momma’s Big Fat Booty Band“. They were pretty fun funk band. I highly recommend catching them if they ever swing through your town. The headliners were Leo Nocentelli (Guitarist of The Meters) with Bill Dickens (Bass for Janet Jackson), CR Gruver (keyboards), Jamal Batiste (drums) with special guest Art Neville of the Meters and the Neville Brothers. They rocked the house too and Bill Dickens plays a MEAN bass guitar!!!

Saturday was a pretty lazy day of chillin’ in our parade spot along St. Charles for the 3 Saturday Uptown parades. Munched on homemade crawfish etouffee and red beans and rice all day. Ended the night at Rock N Bowl to catch a Kermit Ruffins concert. For people that don’t keep up with the New Orleans music scene, you may recognize Kermit Ruffins from his role as himself in HBOs series Treme about post-Katrina New Orleans. He sure can put on a show. He played for a good 2 to 2.5 hours. He sure can blow that trumpet! and his piano player was INSANE! Tasha got her picture taken with Kermit and got a couple CDs autographed.

Sunday we got up early for the 2 Uptown parades and lounged around resting before stuffing our faces with some good ol’ New Orleans cuisine at Upperline Restaurant.

Monday we got up to see Rae, Darwin, and Laura off and then BJ and Jim took us to Destrahan Plantation for a tour and then drove us around the area before dropping us at the airport for our flight home.

Pictures from the long weekend are below. Click on the slideshow to go to the full album.

In & Around Jakarta

During my trip last week to Jakarta, I had Tuesday off of work because it was a public holiday, so a colleague from the local office we are working with took me on a scenic drive around the Jakarta countryside. We drove to the Jatiluhur Reservoir to look at an old dam built in the 1950’s, toward Bandung, Cianjur and then Puncak (click for a Google Map). The area is very scenic and beautiful once you get out of the pollution of the city.

Enjoy the pics. It was the first full-time camera duty I have experienced with my new iPhone 4 (yeah, yeah…that will get it’s own post soon) and I was pretty impressed. Some were taken with the Hipstamatic app for retro-type photos. With the grittiness of the area and the retro look from the App, it made for a pretty neat effect.

Click on the slideshow to take you to Photobucket where the pics are actually in order…

Valentine’s with Bintang

That’s right…we are apart for Valentine’s Day. My poor wife sitting at home while I am in my usual work travel spot having “dinner”. Let’s just say that there are some things Indonesia does well like pirated DVDs and fresh seafood in a tent. Most other things are a mess. On my 8th trip here and this is the saving grace 🙂

Fun with Flying

So I landed in London this morning basically on time. Took the tram over to Terminal 1 at London Heathrow and found that because of a computer failure, they didn’t have any departure boards working showing the departure times and gates. They were writing them with a sharpie on paper setup on an easel!!! So my coworker and I waited 4 hours for our boarding time and made our way to the most remote gate at LHR – Gate 74, Terminal 1! Upon getting there, we found that the jetbridge had a hydraulic problem and no longer lined up with the boarding door of the plane, so they shuffled us off to a waiting area and kept us posted with useless status updates for ~2 hours before telling us that the plane could not be inspected since they still couldn’t move the jetbridge so they were getting another plane for us…that meant 4 more hours of layover!!! So…the flight is SUPPOSED to leave in another hour and 10 minutes…we’ll see…

Hopefully sometime in the next half a day or so, I will end up in Almaty!

Whoa Nelly!

No posts since July, so I suppose one is due now…

July went by and we spent some time with Doug and Renee and their kiddos at the lake and at their pool. Was nice and refreshing with the heat this summer.

In August we headed out to the 3rd Annual East Texas Goats Guadalupe River Trip. Most folks camped out, but being late August…in frickin’ Texas, we stayed in the Holiday Inn. We also got to use our new waterproof digital camera for some action shots on the river without having to buy one of those cheesy disposable 35mm water cameras.

September was a busy month. For Labor Day weekend, Tasha had Brandy’s bachelorette party and Lisa’s birthday, for which we met up with Duane, Brandon, Denise and Bryce for a trip to Longhorn Caverns.

Brandy’s wedding shower was later in the month..same day as mom’s birthday and the same day I got to fly back from Colombia into Austin on a Saturday afternoon to catch all the fun. I also got to try out the new slingbox since the UT vs UTEP game was going on while I was traveling back home. Pretty neat technology! 🙂 Check out the pics from Brandy’s shower below…

Late September/early October was pretty busy for me with work travel. Nothing too exciting, just a bunch of short trips. The weekends have been just as busy though. We had the State Fair Car Show and my dad came up to hang with us for the weekend. Tried all sorts of fried foods…fried butter, fried cookie dough, fried pecan pie, sweet jalapeno shrimp corndog, Fletcher’s corny dog, and a Fletcher’s jalapeno cheese corny dog. Got the car all detailed for the car show (thanks to the guys at Stuart’s since I was traveling too much to do it myself), only to have it rain that night! 🙁

The next weekend was Eric and Virginia’s wedding…awesome time, despite the reception place not having the UT vs Colorado game on TV :). Seriously, who doesn’t have ESPN?!?!?! I kept everyone up to speed watching the live action via Slingplayer on my phone! Beat that iPhone fanboys! 😉 We forgot the camera so no pics 🙁 Beautiful wedding with a nice Texas (UT) flare!!!

The next weekend we headed out to Mexico for Brandy’ss wedding at the Iberostar Grand Paraiso in the Mayan Riviera. We stayed for 8 days and had a blast. Some nights we (I :)) can’t fully remember and some days we will NEVER forget! From catching Britney on fire with a flaming shot, to snoring so loud Tasha slept in the huge jacuzi tub, to a day trip for snorkeling and beachside chilling in Akumal with everyone, to a day trip to drive around Cozumel island to enjoy undistrurbed beauty and oceanside drinks and grub, and last but not least, the beautiful oceanfront wedding of Brandy and Todd. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting and hanging with their other friends and family in such a scenic and fun place! We didn’t even have to miss the Texas-OU game thanks to the wonders of Slingbox and free broadband at the resort. It rained most of the day anyways that day, so we didn’t miss too much resort fun! 🙂 We stayed a bit longer than the rest of the group to celebrate our 5 year anniversary and then headed back home this past Friday. There are a ton of pics posted up, so have a look…

I think that is enough for now. If I think of more later, I will post. To look at the individual pics if you like, head over to the Photo Gallery

– peeps

Back in the states!

Back from Colombia today. Not a real adventurous trip (I guess I should wait to say that until after my MIA-DFW flight, but oh well) . Saw more capybaras and some big iquanas about the size of the ones we saw in Cozumel. Bought some Juan Valdez coffee this time to see how it stacks up to the local stuff I bought last time and to the Juan Valdez coffee you can get here. Gotta see if the man and his donkey are worth the hype! 😉 There were some crazy thunderstorms in the town we stay in during the nights. I usually sleep though all storms but these ones were quite heavy and had some insane thunder…enough to wake me each night. I have some pics from the flight and the huge hotel room I had in Bogota that I will post later.


Cozumel Baby!

This past week we went to Cozumel for 4 nights and stayed at the Occidental Grand Cozumel. It was just the 2 of us and we had a great time! The weather was mostly good, aside from the raining most of our last full day there. We took a snorkeling tour one day where we got to check out 3 different reefs. The last reef was a deep one and the water way pretty rough. By the time we got back in the boat it was about all I could do to keep from hurling! Next time I will be taking Dramamine for any snorkeling we do!!! 😀

The resort was a decent place. We would probably stay there again if a smokin’ good deal came up, but it wasn’t so great we would just not consider other places the next time. I mean what kind of Mexican resort doesn’t have a swim-up bar????

Click on the pic to go to the pictures. Enjoy!

– peeps